The Division of General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine welcomed two new faculty members this month, Jennifer Plitt, MD, and Julia Cremer, MD, whose focuses are on palliative medicine and geriatric medicine, respectively.
Both are Arizona natives and University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson graduates, noted Division Chief and UArizona Center on Aging Co-Director Mindy Fain, MD. They joined the faculty earlier this summer, and both have strong roots in Arizona.
‘Wildcat for life!’
Dr. Plitt recently graduated from the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship. She has lived in Tucson since 2005 and attended the University of Arizona both as an undergraduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, and a medical student at the College of Medicine – Tucson.
Dr. Plitt went on to complete her residency in emergency medicine at the college, serving as a chief resident in 2015-16. Afterward, she completed a Medical Simulation Fellowship in emergency medicine here to learn how to incorporate simulation and other teaching adjuncts into the education of both medical students and residents. Simultaneously, she also did a teaching fellowship with the American College of Emergency Physicians in Dallas. Dr. Plitt then served as an emergency medicine attending physician for five years before signing up for hospice/palliative medicine training here as a fellow.
Throughout her experiences, Dr. Plitt has demonstrated a deep passion for medical education, Dr. Fain said. “Most of all, she brings unmitigated enthusiasm to her work and is continuously striving to bring the highest quality medical care combined with compassion for all her patients. We were delighted when she accepted our offer to join our faculty as a full-time palliative medicine physician.”
Dr. Plitt brings valuable experience in multiple areas, including leadership roles and participation in several college of medicine committees such as the Tucson Educational Policy Committee, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and Graduate Medical Education Committee. She’s a member of the college’s Academy of Medical Education Scholars, and is an early-career faculty member for the College of Medicine Peer Advancement Societies (COMPAS) program.
As one of the few if not only physician in the country formally trained in emergency medicine, palliative medicine and simulation, she has already contributed to scholarly activities in areas such as wellness and self-care. She also was requested to develop a simulation case to utilize in the EM boards for appropriately addressing end-of-life issues in Emergency Medicine.
Outside of work, Dr. Plitt is married with a 3-year- old son and 1-year-old daughter. She loves hiking and the outdoors.
“I truly feel I have found my passion. I hope to blend more simulation into our palliative fellow and resident education in the future that brings a fun and innovative spin on learning communication and patient care.”
– Jenn Plitt, MD, clinical assistant professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine
Back in the desert again
Returning to Tucson, Cremer, MD, joins the Division from the University of California, San Francisco, where she had been an assistant professor since 2019 in the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine, UCSF Center for Geriatric Care and UCSF Medical Center.
She earned her undergraduate degree in physiology (2009) and medical degree (2015) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, where she met her husband who’s also a new UArizona fellow faculty member Daniel Butler, MD, serving as associate professor in the Division of Dermatology and assistant dean for student affairs with the college.
Afterward, Dr. Cremer completed her internal medicine residency (2015-18) and fellowship in geriatric medicine (2018-19) at Stanford University, before being recruited to UCSF. Her other clinical experiences include being a nocturnist for Sutter Health at Stanford Hospital and a patient care technician at John C. Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix.
Dr. Fain noted, as a UCSF clinical educator, Dr. Cremer provided medical co-management for older adults who were admitted to the orthopedic service and taught internal medicine residents on medicine wards. In addition, she provided inpatient geriatric consults and outpatient geriatric assessments for older adults with hematologic malignancies who were planning to receive intense treatments like CAR-T cell therapy or bone marrow transplantation. During the pandemic, Dr. Cremer also helped create and organize an emergency COVID respiratory unit in a San Francisco nursing home when it experienced an outbreak in 2020.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cremer to our division,” says Dr. Fain. “She has a longstanding passion for geriatrics, was a highly accomplished medical student here, and sought exceptional training at Stanford and UCSF. She is committed to providing the best of care for older adults, and I look forward to seeing her impact on improving care and health outcomes in our community.”
At UArizona, she will provide ambulatory geriatric primary care and outpatient geriatric consultation at Pantano Clinic, and precept for internal medicine residents in their continuity clinics there and at South Campus clinics.
Dr. Cremer said she finds working with trainees particularly important because she recognizes our students will all take care of (or interact with) older adults regardless of their chosen specialty.
In her spare time, she enjoys being with her husband, 1-year-old son and their giant poodle, Sunny. When they can get away, she and her husband love to scuba dive.
For clinical appointments or questions for either Dr. Plitt or Dr. Cremer, please call (520) 694-4000.